Health Education

Welcome to the health education section of our website. These health topics will provide you with some self care guidelines to manage your ailment(s). Don't let this information take the place of regular medical care and be sure to access the services of the health resources on campus as needed. Pamphlets on many health related subjects are available at the Health Center in the waiting area. Students may feel free to take one on any subject they are interested in. The staff is available to discuss any health concerns students may have.

College Health Issues:

Visit the Colds web page to learn about preventing and treating colds.

Other Preventative Measures

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not nearby, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way
  • Clean things that are touched often
  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • If you get sick, limit contact with others to avoid infecting them

Seasonal Influenza Guide

What is influenza? Influenza ("flu") is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses.

How does flu spread? Influenza viruses spread from an ill person to others mainly through coughing or sneezing. People may also become infected by touching something with the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes before washing their hands.

What are the symptoms of the flu? Symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, body aches, chills, fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. The fever may last 3-4 days.

What should I do if I feel ill? If you feel ill with a fever of 100 degrees or higher and have either a cough or sore throat you should go to the Student Health Center (located in Dolan Hall) to be evaluated.

What should I do if I am diagnosed with influenza?

    • Do not attend class (e-mail your professors and explain that you are ill and unable to attend class).
    • Avoid close contact with others. If possible, consider going home. Do not return to class until you are without fever for 24 hours (without using fever reducing medications).
    • Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent dehydration. Avoid long, hot showers to decrease the chance that you may faint.

What are the emergency warning signs of complications? Warning signs which indicate the need to seek care urgently include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting and flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and worse cough.

Are medications available for the flu? Prescription antiviral medications are available. Most people do not need antiviral medication to fully recover from the flu. However, persons at higher risk for severe complications due to certain chronic medical conditions, or those with severe flu illness requiring hospitalization, may benefit from antiviral medication. Ask your health care provider if you need antiviral medication.

Influenza infections may lead to or occur with bacterial infections. More severe or prolonged illness (e.g., fever lasting five (5) or more days) may be an indication of a bacterial infection. Additionally, an illness that gets better, but then gets worse again, may be an indication that a person has a bacterial infection. Check with your health care provider if you have concerns.

Fever and aches may be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Over-the-counter cold medications may be helpful for cough and congestion. Please read the instructions carefully. Check the list of active ingredients carefully to avoid double dosing and exceeding recommended limits.

Young adults should not take aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) when ill with the flu. Doing so may cause a rare, but serious illness called Reye's Syndrome.

What about my roommate? You should tell your roommate that you have been diagnosed with influenza. If your roommate has a serious medical condition (such as chronic lung, kidney, liver, blood, neuromuscular, immune or metabolic disorders) he or she should consult the Student Health Center or his/her family physician regarding the use of prophylactic antiviral medication. Your roommate should seek care for signs and symptoms consistent with influenza.

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